Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 10
The Atlanta Falcons at the New Orleans Saints will be the most interesting of the early matchups this Sunday of Week 10. The Falcons, as the only undefeated team in the NFL, will have to find a way to stop a resurging Saints squad to stay unbeaten. The Saints are now 3-5 but have won three of their last four games. The question this week will be how well can the Saints defense play against QB Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcons’ offense, and conversely, how well can the Falcons’ defense play against Drew Brees. The Saints really need this win against their division rivals if they want to have a hope of making the playoffs.
Atlanta is favored to win this game with a 2 point spread and an over/under of 53.5 points. Taking the Falcons makes sense after they bested the Cowboys last weekend and beat the Broncos earlier in the season, the two best teams they have played. The Falcons seem to be able to find ways to win even though they have had close games against middle of the pack opponents. They are, however, very good at scoring touchdowns and not having to resort to field goals; but so are the Saints. Matt Ryan has thrown for 17 TDs this season and Saints QB Drew Brees has thrown for 22 TDs this season.
The Saints are widely considered to have the worst defense in the league. They looked good against Philadelphia last week but that was more an extension of the Eagles’ issues than a significant improvement by the Saints. Atlanta’s run defense is generally poorly ranked but their pass defense has a decent rank at 14th in the NFL. So a good way of thinking about the spread this game is to look at other opponents each team has played that parallel this matchup.
Atlanta’s matchup against Oakland is similar. Oakland has the 7th ranked passing offense but the 31st ranked run offense; New Orleans has the 2nd best passing offense and the 30th best run offense, so this is a fair comparison. Oakland also has a very weak defense. Atlanta beat Oakland 23-20. Also, Atlanta beat Denver 27-21 and even though Denver has a better passing game than Oakland and a better defense, Atlanta’s defense held Denver to about the same points as they held Oakland.
New Orleans played Denver two weeks ago and Denver ranks about the same as Atlanta, a strong passing game with a moderate run game and a decent defense (but probably slight better than Atlanta’s defense). The score between the Saints and the Broncos was 34-14. The Saints’ offense has trouble against decent defenses, much like the defense of Atlanta, and they let up a lot of points.
This should lead one to believe that Atlanta will bleed points against Drew Brees to the tune of about 20 points. New Orleans allows an average of 28.6 points a game and considering what happened against Denver giving Atlanta 28 points is fair. Maybe the Saints could gain an extra field goal making the game approximately 28-23 but that still covers the spread and the game should stay under the over/under point total.
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